Back down to Surrey – BBL and Epsom Downs

Surrey Icon Challenge & Church Micro 1000… Wherigo

On Monday we headed down to Surry to complete the BBL series and Epsom Downs series. We started the day, however by claiming the Surrey Icon Challenge mystery cache. This was the cache that required 6 different cache types to be found in a single day. We did this on the 12th February by grabbing an earthcache, multi-cache, letterbox, traditional, mystery, webcam, and a virtual (for luck!) It was a nice achievement to do a challenge cache and we had great fun with the great variety of caches that we found on that day.

We then headed off to the BBL series, however at the start of this was the Church Micro 1000 wherigo. This was a quick, simple one in comparison to some where we just had to visit a few locations to retrieve numbers for the final cache coordinates. An enjoyable wherigo for quite a grand church.

Church Micro 1000

BBL Series

It was then on to the BBL series. There were a lot of muggles at the start which was near the river. There were many dog walkers and families in the water canoeing. It’s not surprising as it was a lovely place to be.

Along the river

Wild garlic growing near the first cache

We grabbed the first cache without any problem, however at the second cache there were two “muggles” lingering at the bridge. We slowly went past, noticed a GPSr and said “Are you Geocaching?” They indeed were. It was Badger’s Sett and her friend Andrew, so for the entire trail we had a bit of company. Always great to have some cachers to walk along with and share stories with. We’ve been very fortunate recently and have bumped into quite a few fellow cachers! Along the trail we also grabbed Church Micro 7…Betchworth.

Church Micro 7...Betchworth

There were some stunning views of an area called Box Hill from here and we spent a few minutes admiring them.

Views of Box Hill

There was an unexpected tree climbing cache along the way as well, it was The Veteran Cache. Being quite fond of tree climbing caches I had pretty much volunteered for it before we even got to see the state of the tree. It was a good call though as it was a very knobbly old tree with lots of places to grab on to. I ascended it quite easily needing just one leap along the way. Signing the cache whilst balancing, however was quite tricky!!! The climb down was the hardest bit though. Badger’s Sett was very kind however and helped guide me. It was quite a big tree for my little legs so I was pleased with my climb. 🙂

The only way is up!

The rest of the series was very enjoyable. There was a variety of container size and the hides were generally very easy so we managed to travel around quite quickly. It was however very hot out, but we managed to finish by around 2-ish before it got too unbearable.

Epsom Downs

We then headed just up the road to Epsom Downs, an area of chalkland which includes a racecourse. The views were stunning and a perfect place for a picnic before starting the trail.

View across the downs

View towards the stands

We both really, really enjoyed this trail. There was something quite special about it. A lot of the hides were either small or regular containers and the hiding locations varied, but not too much for the hides to be frustrating. When we saw the amount of people walking on the downs when we first got there we thought it would be a nightmare to find the caches without being spotted, however the cache owner had been clever and put the caches in a lot of wooded locations where it was easy to sneak off into the bushes and rummage without being spotted.

Into the woods...

There were great views pretty much all of the way around the downs and we enjoyed taking a few breaks to admire them whilst we passed around.

The stands from across the racecourse

Although all of the hides were pretty good, there was one in particular that I really liked. Some may say it was an easy find, I would say it was simples! 😉

Aleksandr Orlov the Geocacher

Amongst the woods there were also a few unexpected coal posts (These mark the boundary around London where coal transport was once taxed) in the woods here. I’ve checked the waymarking sites where there are quite a few of them listed, however these weren’t on there.

Coal Post 128

Coal Post 127

Despite really enjoying the trail we unfortunately didn’t end it on a high as we had to DNF the last cache. There was something quite strange about it as it looked from recent logs that it had had its coordinates change 3 times recently. We spent a respectable time searching, but decided to move on. There was however a lovely view of the original grandstand from this area.

The original grandstand

Ashtead Park

There was still a considerable amount of daylight and we noticed another trail by the same CO just a few miles up the road. This was for 6 caches over 2km in a nature reserve called Ashtead Park. We decided to squeeze it in!

Ashtead Park

There were some lovely woodland areas in the reserve and plenty of ponds that were mainly occupied by ducks and geese.

View into the Nature reserve

Across the lily pond

Geese by the pond

I did however get lucky and spot a Heron perched above one of the ponds which gave me a great chance to try out my camera’s zoom lens (Always good to have an excuse!)

A heron perched above the pond

The entire trail only took us 45 minutes which I think is brilliant for 6 caches around a lovely area. A very lovely, sunny day of caching!


2 Responses to “Back down to Surrey – BBL and Epsom Downs”

  1. Hannah Says:

    Congratulations on picking up the Icon Challenge. We also did the BBL, your photos bring back some nice memories of that series, we really enjoyed it, though a few of those hills weren’t exactly pleasant with the buggy. I was too knackered to do any more circuits after that one!
    Looks like a fab day of caching for you both.

    • geocass Says:

      Thanks 🙂 It’s always great fun to do a challenge cache. We were quite knackered after BBL, but I should imagine it’s twice as hard with a buggy!!!

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